openbibleI often get asked what I prefer in terms of Bible translations and contrary to what Bill Nye stated the other night (a man definitely not educated on textual criticism), the Bible being translated into other languages does not always compromise the text.

When scholars take the earliest and most plentiful Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments, they seek to translate it with the best available English words.  If it is a literal translation, doing its best to match the codes of language of the original texts is called a Formal Equivalence.  Examples of Formal Equivalence are the New American Standard Bible (NASB), English Standard Version (ESV), and New King James Version (NKJV).

When the scholars translate the text in order to increase the readability for the audience it is called Dynamic Equivalence.  Examples of Dynamic Equivalence are the New Living Translation (NLT) and New International Version (NIV).

There is a group of text that are simply not the Words of God in equivalence or dynamics which are Impoverished Paraphrases.  Examples of this would be The Message and New Revised Standard Version and plenty of others.

Personally I use the NASB and I love it.  I love that it is a formal equivalence with strong accuracy to the words of the original text as well as I enjoy the readability of it.  For years, people told me the NASB was difficult to read and so I kept with my old NIV.  But after I bought a MacArthur NASB Study Bible and started reading I wish I would have changed over a long time ago.  It is a more logical text and not difficult to read.

I would alway recommend buying and using either the NASB or ESV on a daily basis in your Bible reading.  Your will not regret ever reading the very words of God.

Here is a infographic of Biblical texts from http://grantcastleberry.com/bible-translations-and-bible-reading/.